Discovery Point Blog
Germs are Gross! Stay Healthy with These Tips
Cold and flu season can be a nightmare for parents with young children. Germs are everywhere! During the winter months, we spend more time indoors and encounter seasonal viruses. This makes the chances of coming into contact with germs that could make you sick are particularly high.
While it may feel like avoiding stealthy germs is inevitable, setting a good example for your children through proper hygiene practices is the best way to limit their spread in your home both now and in the future.
Best Practices for Avoiding Germs This Season
Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that have been scientifically proven to limit the transmission of germs between individuals. Teaching these to your children at a young age and modeling them whenever possible can go a long way toward keeping your family healthy this cold and flu season.
Here are some of the best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Proper Hand Washing
To be most effective, hand washing must be done properly and frequently. Most kids who are told to wash their hands try to get by with simply wetting their hands in the sink and wiping them on a towel. Of course, this does little to stop the spread of germs. It can even contribute to transmission by contaminating what should be a clean towel.
Proper hand washing must be done with soap and water, rubbing hands together, in between fingers, and under fingernails for approximately 20 seconds. This is about the length of the “Happy Birthday” song, which is easy for kids to remember.
Encourage your children to wash their hands in the following situations:
- After using the restroom
- After blowing their nose
- Upon arrival at home after being in public
- Before preparing food or eating
Avoiding Contact with Those Who Are Sick
Being in contact with someone who is experiencing an active infection is one of the main ways transmission occurs. If you are caring for someone who is sick, take necessary precautions including frequent hand washing and disinfection of high touch surfaces to limit the spread of germs.
If you or your child are feeling ill, be sure to stay home. This can be difficult to explain to children who may be looking forward to events such as birthday parties or play dates, but offers a vital opportunity for them to learn about keeping others safe through our own actions.
Promoting a Healthy Immune System
It’s a good idea to help children understand the connection between what they eat and how they feel at a young age. Explain how a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables can strengthen their bodies and keep certain illnesses at bay.
Of course, diet isn’t the only lifestyle factor that can have an effect on our immune systems. Getting enough sleep every night and engaging in physical activity are also practices that are crucial to a properly functioning immune system. Making these habits a priority during cold and flu season can set the stage for healthy growth, brain power, and energized bodies all year long.
How Discovery Point Helps Children Stay Healthy
At Discovery Point, we know that having a child come down with the cold or flu can affect your whole family, not to mention the well-being of your child. We take specific measures to help keep children under our care as healthy as possible and minimize the spread of germs in our facilities.
Here are some core principles of our approach to promoting the health of our students and their families:
- We are strict about enforcing high standards of health and hygiene. The health and safety of your child are our top priority, which is why we go the extra mile to maintain rigorous standards and never cut corners in this area, whether or not it’s cold and flu season.
- We systematically sanitize toys and equipment. High-touch surfaces are regularly sanitized to prevent the spread of germs between children.
- We maintain clear communication with parents. We ensure parents are informed when their children are sick, so necessary precautions can be taken.
- We reinforce nutritional education and serve healthy meals and snacks. We help children start making the connection between what they eat and how they feel while providing them with healthy fuel through our USDA-approved menus.
While we can’t avoid germs altogether, we can certainly work together to reduce their spread and stay healthy. We hope these reminders can contribute to the health and happiness of your family this winter!